My first experience with intensive care was when my twingirls were born. They were way too early, born in the 33rd week, 40 Centimeters small and weighed 1800 grams each. They could not breathe for themselves and were put into a machine for a few days to survive.
15 years later, in 2014, I had five heart attacks and was nearly dead three times. Now it was me, who was put into an ICU-Bed at Lübeck University-Hospital, being in an artificial coma for weeks and needing help to breathe and the art of the doctors and nurses to survive. I could not breathe on my own for quite a while with all my ribs broken and pneunomia, and that is nothing I want to feel again. I know a few of my friends here have similar experiences, I have talked and chatted about that with some here and then. I have mentioned that a few times before: Without people at my side at that time – close friends and family – I would not have made it.
In Summer 2016 after an operation I was poisoned with one the medications I have to take each day. So they put me into an ICU again for two weeks. One Afternoon they brought a 58 year old Lady into the room, who has had a stroke that morning. She was supposed to get operated the next days after all was set up. In the evening she had another stroke and no one could help her anymore. I heard her dying about one meter away from me. The last noise she made sounded like she was inhaling the whole word at once.
With those experiences you develop a certain kind of humility and a certain kind of respect what life means. Maybe people like me, who have been reanimated also develop a slightly different view about death and what life may mean. Maybe that people who have laid in a hospital bed for months are a bit more patient too.
As if people were numbers
What makes me shiver often these days are all those statistics and numbers and how people handle them. As if people were numbers. As if we all were part of a global competition. These data, that are flying around the globe, cannot be compared, they maybe an indication for a development in a certain region, but you cannot compare a country like new zealand, where in an average 17 people live on a square-kilometer with countries like england (419) or Germany (233). And everyone, even those who have problems with numbers and statistics should understand, that there are way more figures that would be needed to get a good view on how deathly this virus is.
We should think more about dignity
More important in my humble opinion is that we think more about how we keep our dignity, how we keep the dignity for those who die and for those who mourn. It is the first paragraph in the first article of the german constitution: Human dignity is inviolable. That is a good base for people living together who may have different cultures, ideas of living, ambitions and aims. There is something that comes to my mind often these days when I think about dignity or read something about people who obviously miss what we call empathy.
One Example: Last autumn a good friend died at the age of 77. He has lived his life, many many people I know were sad. We had the chance to say goodbye to him at a funeral and a common sent-off with the music he loved and had played to us as a DJ so many times. He would have been proud of how people handled that. That is also part of dignity people deserve.
Why, and that is what makes me even mad sometimes, can we not find a way to visit our relatives or friends, who are in a hospital or in a care home. Why can we not organize that we just can hold their hands for a few minutes and let them know, we are there and they are not left alone?
I know that we need to think about the next haircut and about professional football too, but what should we do first? How is it possible, that hundreds of illiterates meet and spread their right- or left-wing conspiracy in front of tv-cameras? Why are they so ignorant, when all we know is that the corona-virus spreads in such mass gatherings.
The only thing one can do right now, is to stay away from other people as much as possible. We do that not to catch and not to spread the virus. We do that, because we need the few Intensive Care Units we have already for people who are seriously ill, and even if there are some beds free now, there is a chance that there maybe not enough beds for everyone if the virus spreads again as it did. We have seen that in other regions of the world. And that means we are getting into a situation that we cannot help people to survive and keep their dignity. I do not want that.
Please excuse any mistakes, I am not a native speaker